The grand master Soumitra Chattopadhyay is perhaps the only actor – not only in Bengali but in global cinema – who has been active on screen and stage for almost sixty years at a go.
Since 1959, this legend has set new standards for all actors. He has shown what it means to be a true artist – on screen and off screen. Apart from films, he has been a literati and a thespian who has single-handedly borne the cultural heritage of the city.
Soumitra Chattopadhyay has broken all preconceived notions of society’s idea of retirement – at age 83 he has been more active than ever. Not only is he an inspiration to actors worldwide but also as a human being, who has taught us how to live life to the fullest. How lucky we are to be in an age of such a great and wonderful maestro!
Although he has acted in around a hundred films and had an equally active theatre life, this top 10 film list is by no means a final one. In truth, we are simply saying that we loved these films so much that we can see it again and again.
We have to start with this because it was his debut film. Thanks to Satyajit Ray for picking this scintillating gem. Soumitra and Ray went on to do fourteen films together. They started to work in 1959 until 1990.
This is a truly amazing film directed by Tapan Sinha. No one would have fitted this role better than the romantic and good looking Soumitra forlorn with a haunting past love. A must watch for all movie lovers.
Not only is Madhabi synonymous with Charulata but also Soumitra as Amal. Whenever one thinks of the film, all one can remember are dreamlike scenes of beautiful conversations between the two.
Teen Bhubaner Parey
In this film, we see Soumitra in a different light. At first, he is a loafer – singing and dancing on the streets. Next he is the most gentle lover who would change himself for Tanuja. Bonus, this film has some marvellous songs, Jibon e ki pabona and Hoeto Tomari Jonno.
Aranyer Din Ratri
The egoistic yet embarrassed male with an attitude. Again a different avatar of Soumitra Chattopadhyay that will keep you glued. At the end of the film, you realize you probably have fallen in love with him!
This is not a film with a serious storyline but a film where you can see Soumitra in a very comic role. A very entertaining film where he locks horns with the gorgeous Aparna Sen.
This is Soumitra in a beard and he is not the gentleman we know. He is arrogant and thinks too highly of himself. But life subtly teaches us lessons. Abhijaan is one of the best picks for a serious film buff to see.
It is difficult to think of the gentle, romantic, soft spoken Soumitra Chattopadhyay as a mean villain! But his superb role as Mayurbahan opposite to Uttam Kumar remains a classic even after so many decades.
Ganashatru will remain one of the most hard-hitting films till date. Soumitra Chattopadhyay as the doctor who would break the delusions of the mass remains unforgettable.
Feluda (Sonar Kella & Joy Baba Felunath)
This is the Soumitra Chattopadhyay we would like to remember forever. Gentle and tough. Soft yet unbroken. Intelligent but humble. Wielding the Magajastra. A complete man and a balanced human being.
In short – Soumitra Chattopadhyay, as he is.